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Intel 510 series 250GB SSD review

Tom Morgan
11 May 2011
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Intel 510 series 250GB SSD
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
449
inc VAT

Mind-blowing performance, but it comes at an equally staggering price.

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Specifications

250GB sata solid state disk

As the first Intel SSD to use a third-party memory controller, the new 510 Series disks (also known as ElmCrest) have a lot of ground to recover. When they first became cost-effective alternatives to mechanical hard disks, Intel SSDs led the way with their proprietary memory controllers. Now however, faster Sandforce-based models are more popular with enthusiasts.

Intel 510 series 250GB SSD

The Marvell controller used in the 510 has much faster read and write speeds than previous Intel designs. Thanks to SATA3 support, the 510 flew through our file transfer benchmarks; large files were written at a blistering 321.5MB/s and read at an even faster 361.3MB/s. SSDs struggle with our small files benchmark, as the 53.8MB/s read speed shows, but 212.3MB/s write speed is stunningly fast. The 510 also loaded the Crysis level in just 25 seconds. You’ll only see speeds like this if your motherboard supports SATA3, but even older SATA2 boards will still see very fast data transfers.

With a 250GB capacity (only 232GB of which is usable after formatting), you could potentially replace your mechanical hard disk with a 510 series SSD instead of running both together. The stumbling block is cost: £450 could buy a whole PC. Usually, larger capacity disks are cheaper per GB, but the 510 costs a whopping £1.79. OCZ's Vertex 2E has half the capacity, but costs £1.35 per GB.

However, if your PC has SATA3 ports and performance is your main concern, the 510 Series is by far and away the best choice. It can be easy to overlook Intel’s SSDs in the light of its excellent processors, but the 510 series is an excellent return to form. If price is no object, buy one.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
AwardUltimate

Storage

Capacity250GB
Formatted capacity232GB
Price per gigabyte£1.79
InterfaceSATA3
Power connectorSATA
CacheN/A
Seek timeN/A
Bearing technologyN/A
Noise (in normal use)0dB(A)

Buying Information

Price£449
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.intel.com

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